Accident to the Ayres S2R - T34 Turbo Thrush registered F-GOKZ on 08/08/2018 at Diatar [Investigation delegated to BEA by the Mauritania authorities]

Collision avec le sol lors d’un décollage de nuit pour une mission d’épandage aérien

Responsible entity

France - BEA

Investigation progression Closed
Progress: 100%

Cat. 2 investigation report: simplified-format report, adapted to the circumstances of the occurrence and the investigation stakes.

During a flight carried out as part of a crop spraying mission, the aeroplane collided with the ground around ten minutes after take-off. The pilot had taken off at night for the needs of the mission as the avicide treatment used had to be sprayed at night. He planned to carry out the return flight by day.

The examination of the accident site, and in particular the scars on the ground and the orientation of the wreckage, suggest that the pilot had aborted his mission and was on a reverse course towards the aerodrome. It is possible that this manoeuvre was due to a technical failure. It is probable that the aeroplane then collided with the ground owing to the small number of visual references available at night, overhead an uninhabited agricultural area.

In the absence of path data for the end of the flight, it cannot be excluded that the pilot experienced spatial disorientation and unintentionally carried out a reverse course and lost altitude up to the impact with the ground.